Farmers and Butchers get Behind the Auction Marts

Representatives from NFU Scotland’s livestock committee are meeting with Scotland’s butchers to encourage greater sourcing of quality Scottish beef and lamb through the auction mart system.

Members from the NFU Scotland committee will attend regional meetings of the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association (SFMTA) who represent Scottish butchers.

Auction Mart Salering

Auction Mart Sale Ring

By promoting the quality of prime Scottish cattle and sheep passing through auction marts, it supports an ongoing project of the committee to boost the numbers of primestock passing through sale rings. For cattle, in particular, live sales have been falling in recent years.

The regional butchers meetings will take place in Livingston, Wemyss Bay, Elgin and Dundee next month.

John Sleigh, NFU Scotland’s Livestock Policy advisor said:
“We are attending these meetings to get more butchers and farmers talking together with the common interest of growing the demand for quality Scottish beef and lamb.

“Although we are at either end of the supply chain, we need to keep close links and ensure that we are working and supporting each other’s interests.

“The reality is that many butchers and farmers are small family businesses with very similar challenges and we often come at things from the same perspective.

“At these meetings we will be discussing local beef and lamb rearing and sourcing stock through the live auction ring. We are particularly looking at reversing the recent trend of falling number of prime cattle at markets. There has also been a fall in the number of butchers buying cattle this way.

“By farmers and butchers talking to each other, we hope to give more butchers the confidence to get to the ring side to source their stock and encourage farmers to support their auction mart by sending their cattle and sheep.

“Every week butchers supply some of our best beef and lamb to Scottish shoppers. This is a supply chain we are keen to support. By working together we hope that both farm and butcher can learn from each other.

Douglas Scott from SFMTA said: “Butchers, like their customers, are very keen to support local farmers. As well as being able to develop long lasting business relationships, it is important to be fully conversant with the special attention, rearing and husbandry of passionate local suppliers.

“Naturally this shortens the food miles but hopefully it also boosts the reasons for local consumers to use local craft butchers."


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